Compared to positivist survey and interpretive case study research, design science research (DSR) is a relatively novel and
unfamiliar research paradigm within the computing eld in South Africa. In light of recent interest in the DSR paradigm,
this study sought to investigate how local computing researchers familiarise themselves with an unfamiliar paradigm and
what their perspectives of DSR are. Key theoretical concepts from social representations theory (SRT), such as `anchoring'
and `objecti cation', were used to explore how researchers constructed their understanding of DSR. A visual approach was
used to administer drawing and association tasks to two focus groups; each focus group comprised around 25 participants
ranging from doctoral students to experienced researchers. The focus group discussions invoked interesting complementary
and distinctive associations about the process and content of DSR, speci cally when anchored in dominant and conventional
research practices. The results also illustrated several ways in which DSR is objecti ed in drawings and metaphorical
constructions. This study concludes that SRT is useful for exploring beliefs about novel and relatively unfamiliar research
practices. This study also contributes to an enhanced understanding of how computing researchers adapt to changing
research practices. The ndings are developed into recommendations for introducing changes to research practices. These
recommendations can be used to direct e orts to more appropriately accommodate changing research practices within the
computing community to broaden knowledge generation.